Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Midwife or Doctor... what would you choose?

So this pregnancy is coming along... slowly! But in the short 10 1/2 weeks that I've been carrying this baby, I already had to decide whether I wanted a doctor or a midwife. The reason? My wonderful doctor doesn't deliver babies anymore! I found out when my sister was expecting her baby (we have the same family doctor) that she would only do the prenatal care, but wouldn't be there for the birth.

That pretty much sealed the deal for me. Even when I was pregnant with Rowan, I had considered a midwife, but Keith wasn't on board, so I stuck with my doctor. I really love my doctor, so it wasn't a big deal, but I still kept thinking about having a midwife because I was kind of intrigued by it all.

Where I live, you pretty much have to call the Midwifery office as soon as you get your positive pregnancy test... if not sooner :) Otherwise you won't get in. So, I called early enough this time and was able to get a midwife.

Her name is J. At least that's what I'm going to call her here :) She's young, maybe even younger than me! But you know what, I totally respect her abilities. She trained at a birthing center in Texas, where she helped at the births of many many babies. I love it that my first appointment was 1 1/2 hours long. I love it that each of my following appointments will be 1 hour long. Time to discuss things, really know how things are going.

I also love that they don't push the drugs. I know I can give birth without them, and I know how much better I felt after Bria's (almost) natural birth, than I did after Rowan's Demerol birth. For me, just knowing that J will be there during the whole process is enough. Having the support there through the whole birth, knowing what's happening, that's what I want.

Of course, the one really big difference between a midwife and doctor is the option of home birth. I have to admit, the thought has crossed my mind. But Keith is pretty sure that I will be giving birth at the hospital. He's just not comfortable with a home birth. I say... we'll see :)


Melanie said...

J is real good... in fact, all of the midwives are amazing. Caring and knowledgable... you won't be disappointed. I loved getting to know our midwife in the long talks at their office. They are not rushed, but there just for you and the babe in the entire process. Enjoy!

Jen said...

I would never have a home birth. My first, everything was fine going exactly to the text book and then last minute I was pushing for a half hour already and had a rush c-section. The baby was stressed and they couldn't find his heartbeat.
My second everything was band on like the first and I ended up delivering natural. To me it just isn't worth the risk.

Ellen said...

That's really cool!! I don't even know if that's an option out here (I haven't heard of any midwives here) I can see that it could be a hard decision seeing as you pretty much have to make it immediately! I kind of agree with Jen - I think the whole 'natural' child-birthing is great (for those that chose) but I wouldn't want to risk the health of my baby by not being at a medical center where you can get emergancy care if needed, at a moments notice!

Stacey said...

Jen & Ellen,

Yeah, that's exactly how Keith feels. However, if you're at the hospital, you still have to wait for the Doctor to come. If I would choose a homebirth, the midwife would call the hospital as soon as I go into labor, make sure they have clear directions to my house, and I live 5 minutes from the hospital. I'm pretty sure no Doctor would get to me faster than that :) And midwives come totally prepared for complications (they have oxygen, certain drugs, etc), and they know when to transfer to the hospital.

3 for Me! said...

The difference between Dr (of a big practice) and midwife is HUGE (in my experience). I had a Dr with Anna and the birth experience was NOT fun... stress between dr and nurse, dr not happy he was called in (still dressed from playing golf), didn't even show up again until I had started pushing and then left again, dr didn't read my chart that I had NO drugs and attempted to stitch my HUGE tear (yes, thanks to the bad dr advice and not wanting me to move to a better position for me and baby).

Both Chris and Lydia were born with under the care of midwives:) It was soo different... the environment was peaceful and relaxed (yes, even with Lydia hvaing to be induced).

The midwives brought in a layer of personal care/concern that I NEVER felt with the Drs! They tried to let my body do what it was supposed to without "rushing" the process along. And they even asked me MY opinion when we needed to make decisions... gasp... my opinion mattered:)

And Keith should feel be confident that they are there too. Brian loved working with the midwives b/c they respected his position,too!!

Glad you found someone you like and respect:)

3 for Me! said...

I don't want to be too wordy...lol.. but I wanted to weigh in on the center/homebirth vs hospital.

I've always chosen a hospital with a good NICU, just in case. I needed them with Lydia's unknown, but common complications.Anyway, She was treated in my room by the NICU team... easy, problem solved, healthy baby.

Another friend decided to have her baby in a birthing center (not with the same practice). Anyway, her baby had the SAME situation and the baby had to be taken to the nearest hospital while she recovered.... they were separated for soo long that it took them over 3 months to get nursing straight.

Not worth it for me either. Especially of you have a dr/midwive that understands your desires and is willing to help you achieve them!

Stam House said...

first of all Congrats!!!! With you and Drea that I read both of you are preggo I'm getting overemotional!

I'm super exited for both of you but I can't wait to be preggo myself!

I would love to have a midwife over here but they are not legal yet :-(

Kenzie said...

I am so happy you got in with a midwife. If we were having another baby I would for sure choose a midwife and a homebirth as long as everything was going well.
I have researched and studied enough to know that complications are almost never natural occurences.
Enjoy and cherish the miracle that pregnancy, labour and birthing brings. It is such an amazing blessing that women were given.

Donna said...

Midwife!! And just like your appointment was so long, so will the time she is there while you are delivering your baby! She won't just pop in when the head is coming, she will be there for you!!!

I had a midwife delivery in the hospital though.

Melanie said...

J was the midwife for someone I know. The neat thing is that there will always be more than one midwife present... but the whole doctor needing to be there for the birth at the hospital - is that true? I don't recall that information, although my attempt at a VBAC was a different matter altogether.

A home birth is essentially something you and Keith both need to be comfortable with, so keep talking to each other and see if things change in the coming months with your feelings toward the subject. :)

Stacey said...

Already commented back through email :)

Thanks for your congrats, and I pray that you will have another little one soon! Are you sure midwives aren't legal? Or do they just not have any yet. I'm pretty sure Midwifery is legal across Canada.

I agree, but I've been doing my research as well :)

I'm really excited about that too.

Cool. Someone I know had J for a midwife as well, but I haven't had a chance to really chat with her yet. As for a Doctor being there, I don't think that a Doctor needs to be there. Just the midwives. And it sounds like you only need one midwife now if it's a hospital birth, and two for a home birth.

Eva said...

I have had two babies under doctor care and two under midwife care. All four were born in the hospital due to hubby's squeamishness. Midwife all the way!!! I loved the care, the attention, the relationship that was built. I actually had midwife appointment withdrawal after the births {grin}. Just a note for fun: our C was the first baby born under healthcare midwife care in our area and K's first delivery as a midwife in Canada. {she was there for both deliveries, although she was not my head midwife she delivered them}
I could totally talk midwives and birth for hours.
Congrats and enjoy!

DavenHeather said...

For sure midwife! I had one and found it to be my lifeline... and although my birth was not anything that I would have wanted (but with multiples you don't get much of a choice) I still would have never made it without her. The prenatal care, the birth and the aftercare are out of this world!! I hope to have a homebirth if we decide to have more babies. As a doula I have also seen both sides and I can definitely say having a midwife makes a huge difference. Congrats on your pregnancy!!!

Laura said...

I like the idea of a midwife too. If I didn't have to have c-sections I would definitely give it a try. From what I've heard, they are more patient during the birth and do things that doctors don't typically do so that you don't tear...and to make the delivery process more "enjoyable" for the mom.

Wenona said...

I think I will echo the comments and say MIDWIFE!!! I had one and I absolutely LOVED her. I would never do it any other way. I met J at the Midwifery thing they had in the hospital back in May and she is wonderful. They are adding more midwives all the time and my midwife said they are hardly saying no to people anymore, which is awesome! (I should clarify that I'm not expecting - I just still call her my midwife!)
They become like friends to you and they really really care. After all, they are here to bring babies into the world and take care of mommies. And they do such a fabulous job of it. I don't think you'll regret one single moment of having one.
Congrats on the pregnancy and all the best!

Moxymama said...

I have always been interested and intrigued with midwives and strongly considered using one the first time I was pregnant. However, a wonderful doctor was recommended to me and that was the end of that. HOwever, if my doctor ever did stop delivering I would more than likely go the midwife route. Good luck.

Erica Hildebrand said...

Congrats!!! I'm so happy for you! I've done both Dr and Midwife and had an equally good experience. I would, however, recommend getting a Doula if you go with a dr. That extra labor coach is AMAZING - Rusty and I wouldn't do it again without one.

Kristen's Raw said...

YAY for midwives (and doulas!!!). I love them and can't imagine giving birth with any other professional.


S Club Mama said...

Honestly, unless my doctor stops delivering babies, I wouldn't even consider the midwife. But that's just because I love her so much and she's given me 2 sons already. But maybe if she stops (which I doubt she will anytime soon). :)

I do like that you have left your options open. You've done the doctor bit and now want to try this. I think it will be a good experience for you!

I always want to be in a hospital for my kids' births; I'm too scared otherwise.

Andrea said...

Let's just say that I'm soooo jealous that you have the option of midwives there! I've dreamt of having a midwife and would've loved one with both Tate and Emily...but no such luck. They JUST became legal in SK about a year ago so there's none around except in the bigger cities. :( Oh well...your midwife sounds sooo great though!

Stacey said...

I had Doctor withdrawal after Rowan too :) My Doc was so amazing!

Nice to see you today! If I wasn't able to get in with a midwife, I would totally be hiring a Doula! Have you considered starting up again?

Do you think you might be able to have your prenatal care done by a midwife, even though you need c-sections? They might do it :)

I can definitely see how you become friends with your midwife. I've only had one appointment, and I already really like her, and feel safe and comfortable with her as my midwife.

Oh, I know! If I didn't have such a fabulous doctor, I would have switched to a midwife with Bria for sure.

Thanks! When I was pregnant last fall, and couldn't get in with a midwife, I was ready to hire a Doula. I miscarried before I had a chance though. But I would totally do it if I didn't have a midwife! I'm glad you had good experiences both ways.


I think definitely with the first birth, I needed to be in the hospital. I was scared and didn't really know what to expect. This time I will likely still be at the hospital, even though I feel confident that I would be fine at home. Hubby wins :)

Hey!! Are you home from vacation yet? Anyway, I had no idea midwives weren't legal in other Provinces! We have had midwives here since 2001 I believe. Such a wonderful thing! I hope they become more and more popular, and more and more available!

Alison said...

I've been nominated for my first blog award! Now I'm nominating you and passing along the award since I follow your blog! ;) Come by my blog and receive your award!

Anonymous said...

Hey Stacey...nice to see you here in Winkler!! =) Looking forward to the gathering later on.
Happy Belated 2nd Birthday to Bria!! Wow, where did those 2 years go??! Congrats again and all the best with your pregancy and decisions regarding the delivery.


Andrea said...

btw...I was going to give my "vote" on the hospital versus home birth thing! haha. :) I think that personally I'd go to the hospital. BUT I do have to say that I really like the idea of having a home birth and not having to stay at the hospital until you're released and stuff. That would be amazing.

Dianna said...

I'v ehad midwifes with all of my children [3] I've had M and k and they've become like family to us. Unfortunately I always had to be induced and heavily on drugs when labour began and as soon as drugs are in your body your out of the midwifes hands. I've delivered 3 of my babes at BTHC and I can sense when drs and nurses don't want the midwifes there. I've had to put in a complaint that one of the nurses even bad mouthed one of my midwifes [Very unprofessional] I love midwifes I would recommend them to anyone. We are expecting our 4th and my family dr [who was involved with my last birth while the midwifes stood by] suggests that I should consider sticking with her throwout this pregnancy since I come into complications we are caught between a rock and a hard place we still haven't made up or minds what to do. We are committed to our midwifes yet we know deep down they can't do much for us once I'm in labor. We need to make a decision not later then next week and it really nags at me what to do. We made appts with our midwife already but we might just have to sit down and lay it all on the table and I dread it. I dread it with a passion. Pray for us that what we will decide will be the right choice for us.

littlelamb said...

I actually prefer a good doctor over midwifery. Had Dr. with first baby, then midwife for middle two which happened to m/c. Didn't feel like I got the closure/help for the future from the midwife when that happened so I was done with that. For the 4th baby, I got a very competent and friendly doctor (0B/GYN) who I felt so comfortable with so that'd be my next choice too. Also for sure delivery in a hospital. For me that's way more comfortable, esp. a nice one like BTHC, although it does get full too fast.

Julie said...

My friend's daughter, who lives in the Fraser Valley, just had her first baby ..and she had a midwife. She is absolutely thrilled with how it all went. Because of the mid-wife's skill she did not even have stitches !! She did have the baby in the hospital but in a private room and it was wonderful .. she went home shortly after the baby was born. She'd never do it any other way !!
Happy pregnacy and happy birthing ... I'll check back in a few months to see what you had !! smile...

Jobina said...

I really think it's all in what you're comfortable with. I'm really comfortable with doctors and never expected my doctor to actually be the doctor for the birthing, and it just didn't matter to me. If this is what you're comfortable with then great...it would be nice to have Keith as on board as you are though. Time will tell.
Enjoy your nice long appointments!

Michelle said...

I loved my homebirth. It's just as safe...and statistics show it. I have a wonderful blog in my sidebar you should visit.

And it's NOT messy...at least not for you and him....and NOT AT ALL if you have a watebirth.

I'm excited for you...you are going to see that a midwife birth is a little different than a doctor...usually.